Following yesterday’s announcement of the intention to hold the Helgstrand Dressage freestyle competition on Monday morning, Sept. 17, due to extreme rainfall forecast for Sunday’s original time slot of 8:30 a.m., further discussions have been taking place to review the options available to reschedule.
Despite the best efforts of the whole Tryon 2018 team and the officials, who have been working on plans for rescheduling since yesterday evening, including meetings with the chefs de mission and chefs d’equipe, the logistics of putting all necessary elements into place in time have proved insurmountable. As a result, and very regrettably, the dressage freestyle will now be canceled.
“This was not an easy decision, but we have explored every option, including trying to reschedule the horse departures and even looking at moving the competition into the indoor with a change of footing, but the logistics of making all this happen are just not possible,” said Organising Committee President Michael Stone.
“We know this is desperately disappointing for the 15 athletes who had qualified their horses for the freestyle, and of course for all the spectators who had bought tickets, but the weather has simply left us with no choice. Horse welfare has to be the top priority and flying the horses out on the same day as competition doesn’t work, so sadly the decision to cancel the freestyle had to be taken.”
“Although we are devastated that this decision has had to be taken, we’ve had two absolutely world-class competitions here at Tryon, including yesterday’s Grand Prix Special, and to see Germany’s Isabell Werth and Bella Rose taking double gold and Team USA claiming silver was a real treat for dressage fans.”
This decision has been taken in accordance with Article 109.12 of the FEI General Regulations which states:
“Subject to the unanimous agreement of the president of the ground jury, technical delegate and president of the veterinary committee in consultation with the organizer, a competition (either before or during) can be postponed and/or canceled, not only due to force majeure, catastrophic occurrences, extreme weather conditions but also for non-compliance with FEI rules and in specific situations where the welfare or safety of the horses, athletes, officials or the public is compromised.
The decision does not affect the Olympic qualification process, as this was completed on Thursday. The teams that have earned their ticket to Tokyo 2020 are Germany, United States, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain.
A separate notification will be sent to ticket holders.